New 30/30 poems

This month, I joined friends across the country in writing 30 poems in 30 days.  I was especially excited to get some new material out there.  Here are two:

Bloodbath

The UK Department of Health announced today that the ban on gay men donating blood has been lifted… as long as they haven’t had sex with another man in the past year.

Say there is a clean song
jackknifing the fat from
bone. The bleach runneth
over from your good, fine
hands. Father, I have sinned
because I would not fake the
flush, the fractured breath
like a dusty wafer on
your meaty tongue.

Say I am unholy because
I backed away from your
spray-on purity. I forgot
how dark you keep
your bedroom. That you
gagged the doorbell;
held the phone at gunpoint;
threw darts at her shadow
to keep it from twitching.

Is my blood a dead ocean?
Is there something political
in the man who squeezes
my hip on the subway,
or in the way I thrust a pen
into his palm? Is my body
too choked to serve? Should
I not teach your children to
raise blades from their wrists?

I’m telling you, I have my own
army now. We found our own
holy in the murder of shame.
We have suitcases of blood
to set sail in the ocean.
If you won’t take them,
we are burying them
where they were born-
a baptism by salt.

————————————–

Protection

This ribbon is something
I knew by name, once-
a smooth, greaseless
sling of bone cradling
what seeps unguarded.

To learn protection,
what it means when
applied to myself,
when I am so used to
stitching my own swelter,

calling the fever home
with the mouth of the match,
the spark means lighthouse,
the burn speaks lullaby,
the coo of cracked skin

will not know me now.
This is what therapy and
remedy
forget- that I love
the sound of my own
heart breaking

the delicious crash
stomping the embers
back to frenzy. It’s calm
that terrifies me: silent
snowstorms in the night,

how they blanket,
in a fine, proud skeleton,
the shivering earth,
its novacained twitch,
100 songs with their mouths

taped shut.

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